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Q3 PC shipments decline while Apple soars

The news: Global PC shipments continued their decline in Q3 by 15.0% YoY due to cooling demand and persistent global supply chain issues, per IDC’s Personal Computing Device Tracker.

Why it’s worth watching: PC shipments have long been considered a yardstick of economic performance and an indicator of the larger supply chain situation. 

  • The Q3 slowdown is a continuation of Q2's slump, when shipments tumbled 15.3% YoY, and Q1’s dip, when they were down 5.1% YoY. PC sales plummeted after two years of double-digit gains. 
  • IDC traces the slowing PC growth back to Q3 2021, when Chromebooks hit market saturation—likely an effect of satisfying pent-up pandemic demand.
  • PC vendors shipped a total of 74.3 million units in Q3. Lenovo remains the leader, with HP, Dell, and Apple following behind.

Mac sales are surging: “Consumer demand has remained muted, though promotional activity from the likes of Apple and other players has helped soften the fall and reduce channel inventory by a couple weeks across the board,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC's mobility and consumer device trackers.

  • Apple supply increased to make up for lost orders during China's Q2 lockdowns, according to Ubrani. Apple has recently diversified production outside of China to India and is urging suppliers to follow suit.
  • Component stockpiles, supplier relationships, and a tight control over its global supply chain have enabled Apple to sustain production despite shortages.
  • Apple, which has 13.5% market share of the PC market as of Q3, per IDC, is enjoying a staggering 40.2% growth YoY at a time when its competitors are falling behind.

The big takeaway: Shortages over the past several years have driven the product mix toward the premium end of the market, where Apple remains a key player. Continued Mac adoption will grow its market share. 

Apple’s Mac desktops and laptops have seen a range of recent design and performance changes, with new form factors and updated Apple Silicon M2 processors. 

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Connectivity & Tech Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the technology industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.